The Little Mermaid’s Live-Action Film: Javier Bardem’s Triton Song Explained
Disney’s highly anticipated live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” is set to hit theaters tomorrow, captivating audiences with a blend of cherished classics and new musical compositions. Alongside the beloved songs from the original 1989 animated film based on Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless tale, renowned composers Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda have crafted additional captivating melodies. Fans can look forward to Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) receiving his own enchanting song, while Scuttle (voiced by Awkwafina) surprises with a rap performance.
During a recent press conference for the film, director/producer Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca discussed a song that didn’t make it into the final cut. Intrigued by this revelation, I had the opportunity to speak with them individually during the movie’s press day to delve deeper into the details. The song in question was intended for Javier Bardem’s portrayal of King Triton, Ariel’s (played by Halle Bailey) father in his majestic Mer-Papa form. Marshall and DeLuca shared their insights on Bardem’s remarkable singing abilities and the reason behind omitting the song from the film. Fortunately, they expressed optimism that the track might be released as a special feature for fans to enjoy in the future.
Bardem’s portrayal of King Triton stands out as one of the film’s highlights, offering a more serious take compared to the animated version voiced by Kenneth Mars. Learning that Bardem had a song, I was initially disappointed that we wouldn’t have the chance to hear his captivating vocals. However, Marshall and DeLuca reassured me that there was a valid reason for this creative decision.
Rob Marshall explained, “Javier is a spectacular singer, delivering the song with such passion. It was a powerful piece centered around Ariel herself and her frustrations. However, it wasn’t primarily cut due to time constraints. Instead, we realized that it detracted from the film’s conclusion. When you’re crafting new material, the film guides you as you work on it.”
He further elaborated, “We had numerous new songs and sequences that we wanted to incorporate to create a fully immersive live-action experience. In order to maintain the emotional intensity until the moment when Triton embraces Ariel and truly hears her, possibly for the first time, we felt it was necessary to preserve that friction. Hence, the decision to remove the song was driven by the narrative.”
John DeLuca added to the discussion, shedding light on the impact the song had on Triton’s character and the conflict he faced with Eric. Triton, being deeply concerned about protecting his daughter from experiencing the same fate as her mother, feared that someone like Eric, who resides on land, could bring her harm. Throughout the film, audiences witness Triton’s struggle to control his youngest daughter. Revealing early on that his actions were motivated by his profound love for Ariel and a desire to keep her safe would have diminished much of the tension that the film thrives upon.
In conclusion, while fans may feel a pang of longing to hear Javier Bardem’s Triton deliver his powerful song, the decision to remove it was ultimately made to maintain the film’s narrative integrity and emotional impact. Rob Marshall and John DeLuca’s insights emphasize the importance of storytelling and preserving the underlying conflicts that drive the characters in this highly anticipated live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid.” However, fans can remain hopeful that the song might find its way to the public as a special feature in the future, allowing us to savor Javier Bardem’s vocal talents and further immerse ourselves in the enchanting world of “The Little Mermaid.”